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Crispy chicken strips are everyone’s favorite… until you stop and think about what is in them. The flavor is fabulous, but it would be easier to enjoy them if they were actually healthy chicken tenders. And that’s why these baked coconut chicken tenders are so amazing!
This simple coconut chicken recipe is crispy, full of flavor, and easy to make. Did I mention delicious, too?
Now you can enjoy healthy baked chicken tenders at home any time you want!
In fact, once you taste them and see how easy they are to make, I bet this paleo coconut chicken recipe becomes a recurring meal in your menu rotation.
An Easy, Healthy Paleo Coconut Chicken Recipe
When I used to work at a restaurant in my early college days, the coconut crusted chicken fingers were pretty much a staple in my diet.
They were such a convenient and delicious meal to grab after work, either on their own or as part of a salad, that I found them irresistible. The employee discount didn’t hurt, either.
It’s been years since those days, but there are still times when just the thought of that coconut fried chicken makes my mouth water. Fortunately, this version of baked coconut chicken tenders is the perfect stand-in when a craving hits.
Now, let’s be honest, okay? There are still some subtle differences between these paleo baked coconut chicken tenders and the ones I used to enjoy when I ate at that restaurant.
These are not as sweet tasting, because this recipe calls for unsweetened coconut flakes. Theirs were sweet. If you want that, you could use sweetened ones (if you don’t mind the added sugar) or mix them with a little low carb sweetener of your choice if you like.
Personally, though, I think the natural flavor of the coconut flakes (with nothing added) is sweet enough for this particular coconut chicken recipe. Give it a try and see what you think. You’ll want to make them again (and again… and again… they’re that good!). You can always mix it up the next time!
And of course, these paleo chicken tenders don’t have any flour. Who needs that anyway, when you have a delicious crispy coconut coating?
How To Make Coconut Chicken Tenders
Did I mention how quick and easy this baked coconut chicken tenders recipe is to make? Seriously, it’s practically the simplest way ever to make chicken.
These stay on a regular rotation for dinner in our home because they’re ready in just 30 minutes from start to finish.
You’ll prepare your chicken by slicing it into cutlets. After that, pound them out so they are nice and thin.
Also, you’ll want to make sure that they are pounded to an even thickness, so that they all take the same amount of time to cook. If some are thicker than others, the timing will vary and the thinner ones will dry out by the time the thicker ones are done.
Season them with salt and pepper, dredge them in the coconut flour, egg, and seasoned coconut flakes, and then you’re ready to pop them in the oven. This coconut chicken recipe is seriously that simple.
Using the coconut flour and flakes ensures that there are no carbs in the chicken tenders at all; they are keto, paleo, gluten free chicken tenders.
Tips For Making Baked Coconut Chicken Tenders
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way as I’ve made these healthy chicken tenders over and over again. This will make it so much easier for you to put them together for your family and enjoy them as often as we do.
Dip & Dredge the Coconut Flour Chicken Tenders Correctly
When dredging the meat in coconut flour, make sure to coat it completely. It should be completely covered in a thin layer, which makes the egg stick better.
Then, when dipping in the egg, be sure to shake off any excess egg. You don’t want it all drippy for the next step.
Lastly, roll in the coconut flakes. There’s a trick for this, too…
Use Two Hands
This is something that really helps! When applying the coatings on the coconut flour chicken tenders, use two hands.
Handle the chicken going into the flour with one hand, but switch hands for the middle step of dipping them in the egg. Use the first (dry) hand again for rolling in coconut flakes.
That way, you’ll keep your coconut flour and coconut flakes from getting all clumped up with excess egg!
Add A Little Flakes At A Time
Another pro tip? Only add a little of the seasoned coconut flakes to the bowl at a time.
If you have it all in there at once, it may get wet after a few chicken pieces (due to the egg). Once that happens, the coconut flakes will clump together and no longer stick to the remaining chicken pieces.
This way you can just keep adding it in and having it not get too wet.
Use Tiny Coconut Flakes
Smaller coconut flakes will make a better coconut crusted chicken because they’ll adhere to the chicken tenders better than larger flakes. But how on earth do you accomplish that?
Just put your coconut flakes into a Ziploc bag, seal it, then pound them. Works well and it’s simple. (Are you catching on? This coconut chicken recipe is all about easy!)
Making Coconut Crusted Chicken Crispy
Baking these low carb coconut chicken tenders on a non-stick wire rack really makes a big difference in the result. You’re not going to want to skip this step if you want that coconut fried chicken feel here!
This what makes that shredded coconut coating get nice and crispy.
Broiling quickly at the end helps, too. Just keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.
Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders Meal Prep
Your baked coconut chicken tenders are going to be the crispiest when served fresh. There’s really no way around that.
However, if you’d like to make them up ahead of time you can absolutely do that, too. There are two ways you can do this and still have your paleo coconut chicken come out well.
First, you can make them up and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The coconut will soften some, but the flavor will still be good.
Or, if you’d like to have them be crispy, you can prep the coconut crusted chicken ahead of time and put them in the freezer without baking them. Then all you’ll need to do is take it out to bake when you’re ready!
Be sure to let me know how you enjoy this coconut chicken recipe. It’s one of my faves!
Tools To Make Low Carb Coconut Chicken Tenders:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Non-Stick Wire Rack – This non-stick wire rack is essential for making these Baked Chicken Tenders. It will give them that nice and crispy texture you are looking for.
- Bowls – You will need several bowls to make this recipe. I prefer these bowls when cooking.
- Knife – This 8-inch chef’s knife is perfect for cutting chicken breasts into strips for this low carb recipe.
Easy Baked Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe:
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Easy Baked Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe - Paleo & Low Carb
These easy baked coconut chicken tenders are crispy and need just 6 ingredients! You won't believe this healthy paleo coconut chicken recipe is low carb and gluten-free.
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Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Place a nonstick wire rack onto a lined baking sheet. Spray or brush the rack with oil.
- Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, then cut into tenders (about 3 tenders per chicken breast). Season both side with sea salt and black pepper.
- Optional step if you have big flakes: Pour the coconut flakes into a ziploc bag and seal. Pound the bag several times to break up the flakes into smaller pieces.
- Arrange three bowls - one with beaten eggs, one with coconut flour, and one with a mixture of coconut flakes, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Dredge each chicken tender in the coconut flour, dip in the egg shaking off the excess), and finally press/roll in the coconut flakes. Place on the wire rack.
Bake the chicken tenders for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until firm and cooked through.
Optional: Turn the oven to the broil setting. Broil on the top rack for about one minute, until one side is crispy. Flip the tenders over, then broil one minute on the other side.
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Serving size: 2 chicken tenders
Video Showing How To Make Coconut Chicken Tenders:
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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